Guideline 1. You must be largely unfamiliar with the music and culture at the event that you attend. While it is sometimes difficult to find events in town that you are unfamiliar with, I guarantee that it is possible! In order for the event to be eligible, you must be unfamiliar with two out of three of the following characteristics:
- The culture performing the event
- The style of music and/or the method of musical production
- The venue/space in which the event is performed
If you feel that you are not enough of a cultural outsider to the event, consider whether or not the musicians are redefining music or pushing boundaries and cultural expectations. What happens when experimental computer-based music is performed on a street corner rather than a concert hall? Are there ways we can understand Poetry Slams as music? What happens when Beethoven is sampled and mixed by a deejay, and then performed at a sporting event? Be creative and feel free to push the boundaries of what you consider to be music.
You will be asked to explore your emic/etic relationship to the event in your research proposal. Your goal is to convince me of your “outsider” status, as being a cultural “outsider” will enable you to make more nuanced observations and will ultimately influence the quality of your Field Note Report and Analytical Paper.
Guideline 2. Your event must contain “live music.” It is up to you to determine what “music” is or is not, but be prepared to support your rationale in the research proposal. When determining if the music is live, consider the following:
- Either the vocal and/or instrumental sound featured at the event is created by a person that is physically present at the event
- Or the music performed at the event is pre-recorded and:
- The recording is manipulated by a DJ through sampling, scratching, or rapping
- The recording is played by a DJ in direct dialogue with dancers in a dance tradition that is clearly outside of your cultural tradition
- The recording was programmed by a human composer and is performed by a computer or contains an otherwise interactive and performative relationship between computer and human.